NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0544

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Proposal Information for 2006A-0544


PI: Lawrence H. Wasserman, Lowell Observatory, lhw@lowell.edu
Address: None, 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, US

CoI: Marc W. Buie, Lowell Observatory
CoI: Robert L. Millis, Lowell Observatory
CoI: David E. Trilling, University of Arizona
CoI: James L. Elliot, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CoI: Karen J. Meech, University of Hawaii
CoI: Susan D. Kern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CoI: Amanda A.S. Gulbis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CoI: Julie F. Kane, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CoI: Richard Crudo, University of Arizona
CoI: Eugene I. Chiang, U.C. Berkeley
CoI: Jessica R. Lovering, U.C. Berkeley

Title: Dynamical Structure of the Kuiper Belt

Abstract: The orbits and physical properties of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) provide valuable constraints on the dynamical and environmental evolution of the outer Solar System. However, a full understanding of this fossil record requires a large and well characterized sample of objects with accurate orbits. Accurate orbits reveal important aspects of the effects of planetary migration on the dynamical history of the belt and provide ephemerides sufficiently accurate to enable physical observations with giant groundbased and space telescopes. In May, 2005, our team concluded the search phase of the Deep Ecliptic Survey - a survey that has discovered approximately half the known KBOs. It has yielded important advances in understanding the belt, enabled observational research by many other investigators, and stimulated important theoretical investigations. In order to realize the full value from the DES, we need to continue to make critical astrometric observations of any of our survey objects whose orbit is not yet known accurately enough to permit dynamical classification. We were granted time during 2005B to start this followup work and this proposal requests 4-meter time at KPNO and CTIO to continue these essential observations.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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